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4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy, According to Neuroscience

Summary:

Avoid guilt and shame.  Focus on gratitude!

“You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.”

“Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.”

Label negative feelings

“You feel awful. Okay, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?”

“In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.”

Make that decision

“Making decisions includes creating intentions and setting goals — all three are part of the same neural circuitry and engage the prefrontal cortex in a positive way, reducing worry and anxiety. Making decisions also helps overcome striatum activity, which usually pulls you toward negative impulses and routines. Finally, making decisions changes your perception of the world — finding solutions to your problems and calming the limbic system.”

“Make a “good enough” decision. Don’t sweat making the absolute 100% best decision. We all know being a perfectionist can be stressful. And brain studies back this up.”

Touch people

“No, not indiscriminately; that can get you in a lot of trouble.”

“Touching is incredibly powerful. We just don’t give it enough credit. It makes you more persuasive, increases team performance, improves your flirting… heck, it even boosts math skills.

Touching someone you love actually reduces pain. In fact, when studies were done on married couples, the stronger the marriage, the more powerful the effect.”

To sum it up

Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:

  • Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
  • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
  • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
  • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.

read more here: http://motto.time.com/4225493/neuroscience-happy-rituals/

Science-backed ways to boost your mood

Source: 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy, According to Neuroscience

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